'Goddess dwells in cow's tail'

Mr Rajagopal Balakrishnan, the manager of Viknesh Dairy Farm which provided the cows for the home blessing, said: "In Hinduism, we believe that the cow is home to all the deities.

"The goddess of wealth and prosperity dwells in the tail of the cow, and thus the cow's defecation is considered a blessing."

Mr Rajagopal, 36, who has been with the farm in Lim Chu Kang for five years, says there are about 20 requests for cows to bless new homes every year.

There are another 20 requests per year to have the cows taken to temples.

Permits from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority are required each time the cows are taken out of the farm, whose main business is supplying milk.

Before each house blessing or temple visit, Mr Rajagopal will do a survey of the location, which is usually landed property.

For the Thiagarajen family's home blessing, Mr Rajagopal surveyed the location two weeks in advance.

"We had to measure the size of the lift and the maximum load," he said.

"We also checked the size of the house and then picked a suitable cow out of the 80 that we have."

The cow and calf used for the Thiagarajen family's house blessing were about 200kg and 40kg respectively.

Each cow has its own handler, as well as a farm worker who cleans up after them.